"That unicorn, Rarity offered me a job, well forced me to help her model clothes or something like that." He was already thinking of places to hide the body.
Pinkie looked intrigued at this. "A modeling job? I think you'll do well!"
"Yeah, think of everything a Changeling could do in the modeling industry!"
It happened exactly like this. He thought. He stood opposite Princess Celestia, regent of the sun and his and all Changelings mortal enemy.
And unfortunately the door was on her side.
He thought about lying or resisting but sighed, why bother to lie?
He dropped his disguise, not much use for it now and stared at the Princess. She looked very majestic; with white gleaming fur and a long multicolored mane that waved like a flag. Her entire body seemed to shine with a dull glow.
"How did you figure it out?"
"I've picked up a few things since the wedding." She stated. "Besides, It is pretty obvious."
"It's the name, isn't it?"
"Next time choose something more Pony-based."
The two of the let a small laugh fill the room before it was swallowed up by the silence once more.
His head dropped. "You're going to capture me aren't you?"
She shook her heard. "I was going too when I first saw you but your friend dissuaded me."
His head shot up. "Pinkie?!"
"Yes," She confirmed. "After my talk with the six, Pinkie and I shared a private conversation."
"...A trial?" Twilight Sparkle questioned. "Here?"
"Yes Twilight, It will be held in center of town."
"But why hold it in Poniville?" Applejack asked. "Can't ya'll hold it in Canterlot?"
"Unfortunately no," She replied. "Canterlot is still being rebuilt and it would be too difficult to transport the prisoner back."
"Um... you're not going to hurt it... are you?" Fluttershy mumbled.
Celestia smiled. Even after the ordeal she went through the Element of Kindness still felt for this Changling.
"No Fluttershy, when the trial is over we will simply transport it back the Badlands."
"And that's it?" Rainbow dash asked.
"That's it." Celestia confirmed. "Now, I would like you five to leave and wait outside. I would like to talk to Pinkie Pie."
"Me???" Pinkie Pie jumped up and down in excitement.
"Her?!" Twilight stared slack-jawed at her mentor.
"Yes now, please leave so I may speak with her."
The five mares walked past the hopping party pony and out the door, more confused than angry leaving Pinkie alone with Celestia.
Celestia sighed; this was not going to be easy. "Now Pinkie-"
"Ohmygosh, ohmygosh what do you want to talk about Princess?" Pinkie said, nearly exploding with excitment.
"Pinkie-" Celestia tried to cut in but was interrupted again.
"We can talk about parties! Or I can just talk about them or you can just talk about them or not at all!"
"What do you want to talk about?" She hopped around the Princess. "Food? Games? Parties?!"
Celestia was certain that for a split second, Pinkie faltered in her hopping though she just as quickly recovered, smiling even bigger then
"Which friend? There's Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy and Applejack and..."
Celestia sighed. In a way she was impressed; if Pinkie was nervous she certainly didn't show it.
"No Pinkie, your new friend."
Pinkie's smile seemed to stretch around her head, the smile itself looking as fake as a counterfeit bit.
"Oh yeah, He's from Appleloosa and works with mirrors and-"
"Pinkie," It was Celestias turn to but in, enough was enough. "I know he is a Changeling."
Pinkie all but threw herself at Celestia's hooves, tears formed in her eyes.
"Please don't take him away!" She pleaded to the Princess. "He's not evil or anything!"
For the first time in years Celestia was genuinely confused. "Excuse me?"
The alicorn stared at the pink earth pony pleading at her feet in shock.
"But Pinkie, he's dangerous! He needs to be captured!"
"No he doesn't!" Pinkie cried, clinging to the Princesses leg. "He's not evil, he's my friend."
"Friend? Pinkie, he's not your friend he's an enemy spy."
"No he's not!" She insisted. "I mean he was at first but I can explain..."
"She told me everything that happened in the past few days."
Mirror nodded his head, it made sense that she would.
"But what's stopping you from capturing me anyway?"
"Pinkie she could vouch for you and besides..." She shifted from one side to the other suddenly embarrassed. "She made me Pinkie promise."
There was a brief pause where neither said anything.
"Have you ever seen Pinkie's head appear out of nowhere?" Mirror asked.
"Oh thank me! I thought I was the only one!"
The two shared a laugh, feeling the mood lighten but then Celestia's stern gaze returned.
"What do you know of the Changeling down stairs?"
"About as much as you do." Mirror shrugged. "Apparently he's some kind of "Special soldier".
"Then it's worse than I thought." Celestia said, pacing around the room in thought. "We will have the trial and then we will ship him back to the Badlands as soon as possible."
Suddenly Mirror edge was furious. "Why do you keep sending us back to that horrible wasteland?!" He walked right up to her and looked her in the eyes. "Why do you let us starve?!"
Celestia was silent; she didn't say a word and instead walked to the window overlooking the square below. Mirror was even angrier now.
"You won't even answer me will you?! You just want us to go back there because-"
"I don't want you to leave."
Mirror froze up. "W-wh-what?"
"I don't want any of you to starve." She said quietly, her back turned to him as if she couldn't look at him.
A few thoughts flashed though Mirror's mind;
"Do you know why the Changelings were banished?"
He scoffed. "Is that what your Queen is telling you? You really should ask for the truth sometime."
Without saying a word he walked over to the Princess and sat beside her, looking out the window at the Ponies below; going about their daily lives.
"It wasn't always like that." Celestia said.
"What?" He buzzed.
"The Badlands, it wasn't always like it is now. It was once as green and lush as Equestria. Maybe even more so."
"If it's not so good now, why are you sending us back?"
She was silent for a moment and in that moment Celestia looked a millennium older than before.
"It is your homeland."
"Ooookay, I obviously don't know how to use maps."
Copycat stood in a forest, map in hole-filled hoof and a confused look on her face.
"Well, good news everypony!" She said to nopony in particular. "I am completely lost!"
She proceeded to fold the map into a giant paper airplane and threw it in a random direction.
"Now," She stared puzzlingly at a rock as if it had the directions that she seeks. "I need to get to Poniville and talk to Mirror edge. I just need to find out how."
"Ouch!" A small voice cried out near her.
Copycat jumped in shock. Did she accidently hit a magic tree and it was going to have its unholy tree-related revenge?!
"You okay Scootaloo?" A second small voice said.
"Yeah, this stupid paper airplane came out of nowhere and hit me!"
"Will y'all hurry up?" A third voice rang out. "We 'ave to get to Poniville to find this new Pony!"
New pony? They must be talking about Mirror!
Copycat suddenly got an idea. She could use this.
"My homeland?!" Mirror shot back in disbelief. "But that's impossible! That land has been uninhabitable for centuries!"
Celestia nodded. "For over 2000 years to be exact." She hung her head sadly. "I lost count along the way."
"But... what happened?" He was almost afraid to ask but he needed to know. Celestia gave him a sad look.
"What do you know about Discord?"
Discord? He thought. Spirit of chaos and disharmony? Who hasn't heard of him?
"Because he is responsible for the Changelings."
Mirror froze up. His entire world stopping in its tracks. He could barely comprehend it.
Celestia took a deep breath. "A long time ago there was a kingdom in the Badlands, the Ponies there were nothing like the ones that lived in Equestria." She looked the Changeling in front of her over. "The Queen of these Ponies ruled though grace and love and her subjects lived in harmony with the world around them. These Ponies survived by drawing the energy of positive emotions emitted from other Ponies around them, through this they were able to stay strong and healthy and nothing could defeat them."
"But then what happened?"
She paused for a moment. "Discord, Discord happened."
"Sister! Art thou sure thou are going the right direction?"
"We are sure Luna now hurry! He has spotted us!"
A younger Celestia and Luna ran through a dense forest, running from the chaos magic spreading behind them and dodging the magic bolts raining down from above. They had been discovered by Discord a few weeks earlier and had fled to the adjacent kingdom. The two could feel their hearts about to give out.
"We must press on sister," Celestia panted. "We are almost-there!"
They could finally see it; a city stretching through the forest with a massive castle overlooking it all. The two alicorns didn't have time to enjoy the view though as the chaos blasts were getting closer. They quickly ran to the castle, all around them guards and soldiers were flying out to meet the menace about to attack. Finally the Princesses reached the throne room.
The radiant Queen stood up; her insect wings shining in the light of the stained glass windows a look of happiness on her face.
"My little Princesses! What brings you here again?"
It was at this point that she noticed the two Princess were hurt and covered in mud and filth. Before she could say anything the castle began to shake. fighting could be heard from outside. The Queen stared at the alicorns with a confused look.
"What is going on?" The Queen asked.
Suddenly the ceiling began to crack and bits by bit it was torn away reveling-
"DISCORD!" Luna screamed.
The Draconequus floated above them all; a malicious look on his face and debris floating around him. He let out an evil chuckle.
"Oh precious Princesses," He sneered. "Did you really think that you could escape the spirit of chaos?"
He was holding one of the Queens soldiers in his clawed hand. The soldier was unconcious or at least they hoped he was unconcious.
"Oh and about you." He pointed an accusing finger at the Queen who scowled in response. "I must really give you credit; these warriors you have here are tough. He tossed the soldier down to the ground in front of Celestia and Luna landing with a soft thud "But not tough enough."
Metamorphosis was furious. "Do you come here and expect us to bow down?"
Discord simply floated in the air, digging in his ear. "Uh, yes? And if you don't..." He flew down cracked a double fanged grin. "Well I don't know what I'll do."
The Queen looked at the monster in front of her and then at the two Princesses whom she had loved like daughters. She knew what she had to do.
"Alright, victory is yours." She admitted raising a hoof to shake in defeat.
"Metamorphosis?!" Celestia cried in confusion.
"Do not do this!" Luna yelled.
Discord ignored them instead grinning as he reach for the hoof. "I'm so glad you see it my-"
Meta's hoof was like lightning, slamming against Discords face and knocking him to the ground.
"Meta?!" Celestia watched in disbelief.
"Forgive me." She said flashing a final smile before sending them away with a flash of magic. She was alone in the throne room with an insane chaos spirit, who was getting up by now. Discord finally got off the ground but felt that something was off; looking at the ground he realized that the Queen had knocked one of his fangs out of his mouth. He glared at the Queen who had actually angered him.
"You're going to regret that."
"...And because of her sacrifice, me and Luna were able to escape and find the Elements of Harmony to stop Discord once and for all." Celestia continued. "When it was all over we searched for years for them, for any of them and when we found you..." She stopped for a moment, suddenly incapable of speaking though she regained it. "When we found them they were...changed; they were vicious, twisted and evil. We tried to return them race to normal," She looked at Mirror with sullen eyes.
"We tried everything but nothing worked. And then your race started drawing energy like they always did but..." She paused, looking for the right words. "They started drawing energy from the land itself and they took it in droves. Eventually the Badlands looked like they do now." She shook her head. "I've seen Changelings like you before; the curse Discord did is lifting but it's not enough."
She looked at Mirror. He was mortified, to hear that your specics wasn't always like this, that they were better times. He couldn't believe it.
Celestia sighed. "I'm sorry to tell you this; I hope you can forgive me."
Mirror couldn't think of anything to say other than: "Thank you."
She smiled warmly and walked towards the door.
She froze halfway through the door turning her head to Mirror.
"What were they called?"
She thought for a moment before finally answering.
"We called them; Flutter Ponies."